Sure , it’s been a ..different kind of a year.
Fine, we won’t sugar coat it: it’s been darn rugged. The new economy is getting old, and we are spinning twice as fast for half as much.
There is still this time of year though, that encourages you to spend some of that money you have and either treat a loved one, friend, or business associate to a token of your appreciation for what they have meant to you this past year.
Habit? Perhaps, but culturally we are all there. Admit it.
We’ve put together a list of things for you to give, or give someone a clue as to what you really want this holiday season.
Like we said, with the economy kinda dicey right now, you don’t want to guess or have someone else miss the mark, right?
We’ll be speeding through this a bit with a new descriptor to the item : Why We Like It.
This will be abbreviated ( WWLI) and added to every item we put here. Hopefully it’ll make things easier.
You can shop AND watch the movie on TV.
Plus we’ll add the Black Friday ads for those in the US to check for deals, at the end of the guide.
Let’s HIT IT!!!!!
Misc. under $30
WWLI: simple tripod can also double as an Iphone holder for watching. well built and just fun to deal with.
(yes, they do go up in size and price depending on your needs)
Think Tank Pixel Pocket Rocket, for Storing 10 CF Memory Cards, with Security Leash.
WWLI: well built, hold good amount of media, fits well in any pocket, and has security strap plus biz card holder
Canvas Photo Bag- from ICP
WWLI: green way to go for shopping, show your passion on your bag, support ICP.
Photoinduced.com lens cloth
WWLI: great cloth stuffs into its own neoprene bag, no ridonkulous folding into a junk plastic wallet. Ask nicely, and we will give you one.
Speaking of Media Cards:
WWLI: Never, ever had a failure in all of the time we’ve been digital. New faster speed is the real deal for action.
Gary Fong Lightsphere
WWLI: New version packs right, light from the harsh speedlight just looks better, softer, smoother.
Lightpanels MicroPro LED Light
WWLI: Portable, cool to the touch, daylight balanced, comes with gels, battery powered. We always pack these.
Sooooo many camera bags to choose from, and it all depends on the user. and how it being used. Tough call but we had to start somewhere.
Camera bags (stills):
Think Tank Airport International 2.0
WWLI: traveled all over the world with this, and it is the most stealth, well made, roller bag we’ve seen, to say nothing of it’s brilliant design. One of the best parts? lowered dividers so your laptop fits inside the case.
Lowepro Magnum 650 AW Shoulder Bag
WWLI: when you have a bunch of gear, and smaller light packs like dynalites, this is the ticket. Stackable, sturdy, size choices.
Boda Bag V3
WWLI: designed to let you work fast, and carry the tools you need. Major comfort on the shoulder, and pockets to keep your gear workflow right.
Not for transport, for working.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 8
WWLI: Adobe is constantly using improvements in the flagship to make this product better. Well under a$100, powerful tools, can’t miss gift.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2
WWLI: Most intuitive, powerful asset management program we’ve found, and it integrates into your favorite program,CS4 , seamlessly.
Adobe Photoshop CS4
WWLI:> Really? Hmmm..the best digital darkroom you will ever use. Just get it.
OnOne Plug-In Suite 4
WWLI: useful, easy, integrated tools for CS4. Sure there are some other great choices out there, but we like the ease of operation on the OnOne framework.
Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet
WWLI: you will find your digital darkroom life much better when you step away from the mouse and pick up a pen and use the Wacom tablet. Start with the Bamboo, and then you can move up.
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
WWLI: if you want to speed up your time in the post part of your digital photography, start out with a quick shot of a color chart in the situation. This item is always in our bag. The included software is the key here; gives you a preset right in Lightroom.
We’ll tread lightly on this one as the camps are divided and the cost implications are huge.
So, in the point and shoot range:
Canon PowerShot SD780IS
WWLI: perfect suit jacket camera, small efficient, shoots HD, 12 megapixel ,and plenty of features,
Nikon Coolpix S1000pj
WWLI: the whole idea of a point and shoot is mainly to share experiences with folks and a small camera helps the situation. This one has a cool pico-type projector that lets you shoot AND project the shots from the same unit onto a nearby wall, clothing or whatever.
Canon PowerShot D10
WWLI: Point & Shoot goes underwater, in the snow, shoots great snaps and video. Simple, good, family fun camera.
Lomography Holga 120N Medium Format
WWLI: Every photographer must experience a Holga. Shoots real film, has amazing imperfections, leaks light, plastic, and has the sweet quality of the unknown when you shoot. Join the worldwide cult.
We’ll leave the DSLR’s, and some other specialty cameras for another post.
So many to choose from, with classics still high on our list. We’ve only included one oldie, here.
Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans
WWLI: The contacts sheets, the insight, the exhibitions, all wrapped up into one very large volume. On the 50th anniversary, this book deserves the close look.
Photographing America: Henri Cartier-Bresson / Walker Evans
WWLI: This book was an exhibition in Paris and was only released with an English translation this year. We know, “why do you need the words, it’s a book of photographs”. Trust us, it greatly enhances the experience. Excellent printing of 2 masters work, and their views of the US between the early 30′s and the early 40′s.
Who Shot Rock and Roll
WWLI: In the year of the Woodstock 40th anniversary, the images are iconic to fewer people. Having a book that gives some insight into the photographers has more value to more people. Nice way to spread the gospel.
The Family Of Man
WWLI: Not a new book, but one that should be on everyone’s shelf. The most attending photography exhibit in history, this document of the human condition will be a welcome gift for anyone. Heck, we’re going to give one away on the site in Dec.
A Shadow Falls
WWLI:Sometimes you want to give a current coffee table book to someone who loves a good looking photo, but maybe does not want to look more a the human condition. Fair enough.This book is beautifully produced, with strong images that we are happy to have on our coffee table.
The Digital Photography Book, Volume 3
WWLI: Easy to digest one page bites on things you want to now about digital photography. Call it a stocking stuffer is you like, but this little paperback is an incredible value.
Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY IdeasWWLI: In a very cool layout are some real solid projects for the not just the photog looking for fun, but those that want to get a little bit more serious. Mirroring the attitude of the site, photojojo.com it’s a pretty fresh look at DIY photo projects.
Let’s be honest here: love to support the galleries and bookstores but Amazon.com just has the best prices on books.
If you can the book there, do it.
Get em signed if and when you can. Always a plus as a gift.
By the way, even thouggh we are an online resource, please remember the photo mag subscriptions. Inexpensive, delivers your gift 12 times a year at least (at the Photo Expos you can get deals like 4 years fro $25. on some), and you can read it in many places you may not take a laptop. You do the math.
Best iPhone apps:
OnOne DSLR Remote
WWLI: full functionality of your DSLR on the iPhone including Live View. Self portraits have a whole new meaning. Sure you’re tethered, but it’s the best $20 you’ll spend on an app.
WWLI: Touch screen controls, all the tools you need, free.
WWLI: the ability to transform any shot you take or have loaded onto your phone, into a Lomo, polaroid, 1972, 60′s, fish eye, B7W or infra red image is just too cool. Easy fun, looks great. Now available for the desktop.
We download a bunch of these to see what works well and what you would actually use.
The ones listed above float to the top.
And tomorrow, we’ll give you a bit of a multimedia gift list for the photogs making the move.
All items have been touched,tested, tasted, weighed and/or measured by us. Only way we can do a recco.
If you have questions on what to buy, shoot us an email. We’re happy to advise:email@example.com
We have many of the items listed here, all in one place in our Amazon store. Same great Amazon price, same great service.